Landlords whose buildings were marked for demolition in the wake of flood disaster and building collapse that killed over 35 people and destroyed property worth millions of naira recently in Lagos are holding informal meetings with party chieftains in the state to get their buildings off demolition list.
LEADERSHIP learnt that the affected landlords especially the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) card carrying members have besieged the party secretariat in the state to plead with the party chairman, Otunba Henry Ajomale, to lobby the governor to order a stay of execution.
A source at the ACN secretariat said: “ The landlords have been coming here crying to the chairman to help them beg the governor not to demolish their houses. They also go to his house and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s house to beg the party leaders to save their property. Even those of them not members of Action Congress of Nigeria are now claiming to be members to get their buildings off the demolition list.”
Meanwhile, the state government in spite of the moves by the landlords has commenced the process of demolition.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Toyin Ayinde, who confirmed this, told Newsmen at the weekend that officials of the ministry on Thursday last week commenced the demolition of two buildings on Lagos Island and another in Ebute-Meta on Friday .
According to him, the state government would not spare any of the marked buildings no matter the owner, hinting that 34 structurally weak buildings had been identified in the two areas.
He noted that they would first be subjected to rigorous tests to determine the extent of their weakness, saying those that failed the tests would be demolished in order to safeguard the lives of the residents and those living in adjourning buildings.
The commissioner explained that when officials of the ministry got to the Ebute-Meta building, which had earlier been sealed and marked for demolition, the owners of the building and some of the erstwhile residents were seen making efforts to patch up the structure.
Ayinde affirmed that the condition of the building had deteriorated beyond repair and had to be brought down in the interest of public safety, adding that henceforth, any structure that failed structural integrity tests would be brought down because the government would not fold its arms and watch innocent citizens die from building collapse .
The commissioner said that the government had also sealed 34 derelict houses discovered to be unfit for habitation , threatening to collapse soon on the Lagos Island.